Effects of plant diversity on primary production and species interactions in brackish water angiosperm communities

Tiina Salo, Camilla Gustafsson, Christoffer Boström

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    Research on plant biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has mainly focused on terrestrial
    ecosystems, and our understanding of how plant species diversity and interactions affect processes
    in marine ecosystems is still limited. To investigate if plant species richness and composition
    influence plant productivity in brackish water angiosperm communities, a 14 wk field experiment
    was conducted. Using a replacement design with a standardized initial aboveground biomass, shoots
    of Zostera marina, Potamogeton filiformis and P. perfoliatus were planted on a shallow, sandy bottom
    in replicated monocultures and all possible species combinations. Response variables included
    aboveground and belowground biomass, shoot density, space occupation and porewater nutrients.
    To determine whether selection and/or complementarity controlled productivity, additive partitioning
    and Di were calculated. Richness effects were species-specific and only increased the biomass
    production of P. perfoliatus and tuber production of P. filiformis, while species composition generally
    had a stronger effect on biomass production. Additive partitioning indicated a positive complementarity
    effect for the aboveground biomass production in bicultures in general, while a positive net
    effect was found in the P. perfoliatus and P. filiformis biculture. Despite the absence of significant
    results for other treatments and plant variables, a trend of positive complementarity and negative
    selection effects were present. Plant diversity had no clear effect on sediment porewater nutrient
    concentrations, indicating weak richness effects on resource use.
    TidsskriftMarine Ecology - Progress Series
    Sider (fra-til)261-272
    Antal sider12
    StatusUdgivet - 9 dec. 2009

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